CSPAM – Christian Spam

It is really sad that I have to write this. But for the last one year, I have been subject to CSPAM – Christian SPAM – emails on christian topics from people I know (and don’t), but which I never asked for or subscribed to. I receive these emails just because they have my email address in their contact list and they know I am a Christian. I do not know if they send these emails to non-Christians too.

For the last three months, one brother uses Orkut to send his messages to everyone on his friends list. The only problem is that I have been getting approximately 8 copies of the same email on the same day.

Today, one new email newsletter author (I don’t even know this guy!) sent me this – “Please Send e-mail id’s of all your contacts to (his email address). Let’s together spread and share the love of the Lord God with as many people as possible. Religion no bar“.

Can you believe that? The guy actually wants me to share my address book with him so he can send emails to them – literally cspam them.

I understand we have the most important message in the whole world. But does it really mean that we can send bulk mails to anyone?

We are careful when we directly interact with someone. We show adequate manners and ettiquete. But these same etiquettes or manners fly out the window when communicating via email!

People are already burdened with all sorts of junk in their inbox. There are forwards from friends, chain mails (AOL, MS, ZDNet seem to be tracking ever email we send, so they can help some sick kid somewhere in Zimbabwe) and virux hoaxes (attachments don’t explode your hard disks).

Since I started this post, I might as well say what you can do to get the message across, without gatecrashing.

  • Start a website with a blog. And update your messages there.
  • Start a blog. It’s the easier than starting a website. But you will have benefits if you have it at your own domain.
  • Activate RSS on your blog. It is a beautiful invention and people love it.
  • Start a newsletter and include a “Subscribe to newsletter” link on your blog/website, where people who like reading your stuff can get the stuff in their inbox as and when you write. But let people subscribe themselves. You don’t have to do it for them!

CSPAM or any kind of spam should not happen. And as Christians, let us be good stewards of what has been given to us and not bomb everyone we know, just because we like it.

Comments: 2

  • sAP

    Some of those suggestions you have made are quite useful. Reminds me of the the Faith City Church yahoo groups newsletter.

    As for the complaints, maybe you should tell/email the parties themselves to refrain from doing so. If they are sensible, they will take advice.

    sAP

    September 5, 2007
  • You’re being too kind to give the cspammers an alternative. There is also cspamming over mobile – sms “thoughts”!

    I get so many verses everyday, at different times of the day, that I feel distracted. I’ve already read my meditation passage for the day, and I would rather think about that passage the whole day.

    My take on how to avoid this kind of spam:
    1. Whenever you share your mobile number with someone, tell them plainly, politely and firmly that you don’t want forwards or daily thoughts.
    2. For those whom you can meet in person and with whom you’re quite comfortable, tell them to stop sending daily SMSes.
    3. For those whom you don’t know how to say it politely, without risk of hurting their feelings … well, just delete the SMS as soon as you get it.

    Sometimes email forwards have helped me directly, like a direct word from God for a particular situation I”m going through. But that’s a minority, and God speaks when we wait upon Him anyway. So general rule of thumb: all unstoppable spams/cspams -> trash!

    September 12, 2007

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